Root Canal Therapy is a treatment that enables you to keep a tooth that might otherwise need to be extracted. The treatment is used to stop pain and treat teeth with dental abscesses. The treatment involves removing dead and infected material from the canals that run along the roots of the teeth.
Endodontists are dentists who have at least two years of advanced specialty training in root canal therapy techniques and are registered on the General Dental Councils speciality list. As an Endodontist, Dr Cohen uses his specialist training and experience to treat difficult root canal problems using a high powered magnification microscope, ultrasonics and digital x-rays in order to carry out this specialist service and get the very best result.
Endodontics, or root canal therapy, removes infected or damaged tissue from inside a tooth. This tissue, called the pulp, contains nerves and blood vessels that help nourish the tooth. After the pulp is removed, the pulp chamber and root canals are cleaned, sterilised, filled and sealed. The tooth remains alive, nourished by the adjacent tissues of the gums and jaw.
Endodontics therapy saves teeth that would otherwise be extracted. There is no real substitute for your own tooth, which is more efficient in chewing and biting than an artificial one.
The most typical cause of pulp damage is severe tooth decay or a fracture to a tooth that exposes the pulp to bacteria and goes on to cause infection. Other causes of pulp damage include traumatic injuries such as a knock to a tooth, a cracked or loose filling or a tooth that has been repeatedly filled. Occasionally periodontal or gum disease can be a cause.
For the majority of cases endodontics therapy is completed in one visit. In certain clinical conditions, it may be necessary to delay completion of the treatment to a second visit.
It is normal to feel some tenderness in the area around the tooth for a few days following treatment as the body undergoes the natural healing process and you may feel some tenderness in the jaw from keeping it open for the duration of the treatment. These symptoms are temporary and generally respond well with painkillers that you would take for a headache and the tooth may feel slightly different from your other teeth for some time after the endodontic therapy has been completed.
Root canal treatment is the first step to returning the tooth to full function. A final restoration of the tooth is extremely important in ensuring long-term success. You will need to see your own dentist within 2- 3 weeks after treatment to have the tooth completely restored. This may be a crown or type of filling as recommended by your general dentist.
A tooth that has had appropriate endodontics therapy followed by a proper restoration can last as long as other natural teeth as long as you maintain good oral hygiene and regular examinations as indicated by your general dentist who may periodically x-ray the tooth to ensure that healing has occurred.
Just occasionally, a tooth that has undergone endodontic treatment does not heal or the pain continues and a tooth may become painful or diseased months or even years after successful treatment. Often when this occurs repeating the endodontic therapy can save the tooth.
Unfortunately, when dealing with nature, there is no guarantee that any treatment will work. However, research has shown that when root canal treatment is completed by a specialist endodontist, the success rate is probably in excess of 95%.
David would expect to achieve at least that result in teeth that have not previously had root canal therapy.